Case Study: Aliya Journey Books & Brand

I had worked with Ariella Bernstein in the past on various presentations for her consultation work in the startup community in Israel. She was so happy with my work that decided that I was going to design her book and its brand. And she doesn't take no for an answer!

The Design Project

Using her experience as an immigrant to Israel and her many years helping others through the same journey, Ariella created a detailed, honest, chart-filled book that serves as an indispensable guide for future immigrants to Israel and the families they leave behind. My job was to make her book look warm and caring, but also grounded solidly in reality.  

Aliya: Home Hope Reality designed by Rubberband Studio

The Challenge

Contrary to many other aliya books out there, this one doesn’t have an agenda. It’s not a “rah-rah” book, to quote Ariella.  It’s a fact book. The goal is to let immigrants (olim) know what they’re really getting into, and to explain what it’s going to be like for their parents back in the US.

So our goal was to craft a “let’s face reality but we also really care” visual message, and it needed to be applicable to every single one of the many charts in the book. But beyond that, there were going to be all sorts of marketing collateral, from an e-commerce website to social media blasts and an Amazon listing. 

The best part was that Ariella already has two more books planned, so I was tasked to brand a series, not just one book. 

Series Logo Goals

We needed a logo that would apply to this and all future books in the series.  It needed to be strong, to convey the up-front nature of the content, and to convery warmth and caring, reminding readers that we really do care about their wellbeing.  Because of her history in business and marketing, Ariella was very comfortable with a no-nonsense logo devoid of bells and whistles.  

Book Design

The first book design challenge was to create a template that allowed for many different elements including charts, dialogues, subsections, and definitions. After much deliberation, we settled on putting the definitions in the margins, and creating icons for the subsections that repeated themselves throughout the book.

Cover Design

Only after we created the internal layout did we approach the book cover. The final decision was to use a flock of doves flying away from the viewer, not only to convey “leaving the nest” but also because the dove is a symbol of Israel, and deep blue is the color in the Israeli flag. In this way, we were able to gently refer to Israel without overtly using symbols from the flag or inappropriate political imagery.

Icon Design

The whole book needed to work in black and white, so the icons needed to be clean and simple, while clearly reaching their audience. They would later be reused online. 

Aliyah Journey icons designed by Rubberband Studio

Book Marketing

In order to allow me to focus on finishing the book and all its various versions (review copies, Israel versions, UK versions, Amazon versions…) Ariella outsourced the design of the landing page, but that required me to create a complete brand style guide for external use. 

Because Ariella comes from the startup world, she didn’t hesitate to ask me for a style guide that covered all the bases and explained how to handle all contingencies. I created detailed instructions for website branding, social media images, text layout and font choices, color schemes, and logo usage across platforms.

Brand Style Guide sample page

The Website

The brand style guide allowed the Aliyah Journey book brand to be easily applied to a website:

The Rest of the Series

The other book covers were designed to utilize illustration to abstractly refer to the theme of the books without being overly kitchy or dogmatic.  

Cover design for the future book by Ariella Bernstein, "Aliya: Retiring Home"
Cover design for the future book by Ariella Bernstein, "Aliya: Unsung Heroes"